Cubs put Romine on IL in another apparent COVID move


The Cubs placed catcher Austin Romine on the injured list Thursday in what appeared to be a COVID-19-related move

The club did not specify an injury designation for Romine, which almost always means a reason related to COVID.

On Wednesday, they placed Patrick Wisdom on the injured list without a designation.

The Cubs called up catcher Erick Castillo from Triple-A Iowa before Thursday’s game. They did not have to make a corresponding move to clear space on the 40-man roster because Romine was not technically placed on the “10-day injured list.”

Additionally, the club is carrying a five-man taxi squad, available to all teams on the road this season, which consists of substitute players available to join the active roster if needed.

Those five players are catcher Tyler Payne, pitchers Joe Biagini and Dakota Mekkes, and infielders Tyler Ladendorf and Jared Young.

“They’re here as an abundance of caution,” manager David Ross said of the taxi squad. “You’ve got to have some backups in case something is more serious. But still running through all the testing and think we’ve got it, for now, contained.”

Castillo, 28, is the longest-tenured player in the organization outside of Willson Contreras. The Cubs signed him as a minor-league free agent in November 2010. He could make his MLB debut this week.

Payne (2015, 30th round), Mekkes (2016, 10th round) and Young (2017, 15th round) are all Cubs draft picks from recent years.


Ladendorf is a Park Ridge native and 2008 second-round pick (Twins). The Cubs signed Biagini to a minor-league deal last winter.

Contributing from Pittsburgh: Gordon Wittenmyer

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